Retired Seattle Police Officers Association

Last Ring

Take a moment to remember our friends and associates who have passed.

Dick Johnson #2519, Retired Seattle Police Officer, passed away Wednesday, October 20, 2021 at 74 years of age. Dick was hired on December 10, 1968 and retired on disability on January 6, 1977.

Dick was born and raised in the Greenwood neighborhood.  He always wanted to be a police officer just like his father Leonard #330, who was a Captain on the SPD.  Dick attended St. John's Catholic elementary school with classmates Dan Stokke #3240 and Tom Grabicki #3516.  They attended Blanchet High School together.  While turning out for football, Dick injured his neck.  So, he became the team manager.  He graduated in 1965, six months later he became a police cadet.

Dick was a cadet from November 1965 through December 1968.  He joined the Army Reserves in December 1965 and served until 1972.  On August 19,1967 Dick married his wife Arlene who worked in the Records Bureau.  Dick was sworn in as a police officer on December 10,1968 and was assigned to the Georgetown Precinct.  He was known to be a pro-active officer.  Denis Law liked to follow him around taking photos for the neighborhood newspaper.  Three months later Dick attended academy class #58 under the command of Roy Skagen #2204.  While still in the academy, Dick signed up for the Marching Drill Team.  

After graduation he was sent to work at the Wallingford Precinct.  There he partnered up with John Kristof #3122 working car 3-Boy-7.  Their district included Fremont known for ex-cons, drug pushers, radicals, and gangs.  The so-called mayor of Fremont, a guy named Armen was very anti-establishment.  Everyone who was arrested was considered to be a political prisoner and the cops were the oppressors.  One night a bloody and bruised Armen found it necessary to call the police.  Dick and John answered the call.  He was the victim of two ex-con roofers who wanted a little more money for the roof job.  The cons had actually pointed a gun at Armen's head and pulled the trigger only to have the gun miss fire.  Armen had an immediate epiphany and switched political philosophies.

In 1973 Dick went to Hawaii with the Marching Drill Team.  Afterwards, he noticed he was having trouble walking but just ignored his symptoms.  He went back to work and turned out to quarry for the canine unit.  In 1975 Dick was next up for assignment to the K-9 Unit when he was diagnosed with a disability that would prevent him from working the streets.  He worked several staff assignments but all he wanted was to be a street cop.  The department reluctantly determined his condition would only worsen.  In 1977 Dick was retired after nine years on the department.

Dick did not quit life.  He enrolled at the University of Washington earning a teaching degree.  He worked as a substitute teacher at the Northshore, Lake Washington, and Shoreline school districts before becoming a permanent teacher at O'Dea High School.  At O'Dea Dick was the assistant football coach.  He coached Dan Melton #2711 son Don.  His disability continued to worsen so after five years of teaching he left O'Dea and got a desk job at KLM Accident Investigations.

By the early 90's, his condition confined him to home.  Dick was very attentive to his children's activities.  He loved to follow sports, especially watching his grandson Brandon wrestle in high school.  Brandon became the heavyweight State wrestling champion.

Dick is survived by his wife of fifty-four years, Arlene, daughter Brandy and sons Cameron and Lance, eight grandkids and five great grandkids.